In an ever intensifying effort to crackdown on copper wire thieves, city police arrested a third suspect on Tuesday who is believed to have burglarized four cell phone towers, said police director Jerry Speziale.
Louis Alvarado, 46, has been charged for his role in four burglaries, in which, homeless drug addicts carefully stripped copper from cell phone towers belonging to Sprint, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, causing more than $125,000 worth of damages.
Two of Alvarado’s homeless accomplices were arrested on Friday. Detectives investigating the case located Alvarado on River and Straight Streets on Tuesday. He was interviewed and later charged.
Alvarado’s charge tally increases the tally of charges in the copper wire case by 12, said the director. The other two homeless men: Christopher O’Connell, 37, of Georgia, and Michael Mazziotte, 20, of Connecticut, face 80 criminal charges.
O’Connell, a former subcontractor in the telecom industry, used his knowledge to gain access to cell towers without detection. He then carefully stripped copper without causing service interruption.
Alvarado could face more charges as detective are looking into two additional burglaries in which he was involved.
“The tenacity and tireless efforts of the detectives throughout the investigation is amazing and has led to the successful conclusion and arrest of individuals responsible for causing widespread damage throughout our city,” said Speziale. “We will continue to investigate these commercial and residential burglaries and charge anyone involved accordingly.”